Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Artist Has The City On Locks

++ Artist Has the City On Locks (ANIMALNewYork)

Allan Molho began placing his locks project almost exclusively around Soho’s streets in 2003, with one installation being placed on 22nd between 10th and 11th Ave. Utilizing padlocks as a canvas that feature photos of his children affixed to each one, they are locked to fences, poles, or other surfaces. In explaining his use of locks as a canvas, Allan told ANIMAL there is a “tyranny” of images on the streets today “dominated by advertisements for products… For me, tyranny implies a battle. Street art, graffiti and these installations are part of this battle. By using a lock, these ideas are somewhat more “permanent” on the street.”

Allan’s locks, just as the neighborhoods of Manhattan, are constantly growing and evolving (see the specially formulated Google map), with developers adding or subtracting to the current landscape, and economic realities, fairly or not, driving stark changes in neighborhoods, building by building. People often express a yearning for ‘the way things used to be’, and Allan’s locks are a clever attempt at making permanent a particular “idea or emotion.” “Instead of a lock’s normal function, I wanted to lock ideas and emotions to a particular place…Yet, it is clear that nothing stays the same,” Allan offered somewhat reflectively. “Neighborhoods, the city streets, its buildings and fixtures, its people and culture, its art and its ideas. Try to think of what the city streets looked liked like 150 years ago. What is the legacy of people? What things, words, and ideas last?” -Paolo Mastrangelo